6" or 8" jointer/planer ?

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Forum topic by Hammeredthumb posted 04-23-2012 12:21 PM 1352 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1649 days

04-23-2012 12:21 PM

Hello, my name is Tom and besides being new here to this forum, I have a question for you all? I would first like to apologize in advance if I am jumping the gun and not reading all the previous posts on this subject as I am sure it has come up before. Anyways, here we go:
I have seen a few planer/jointer combos of the 6” and 8” variety out there. My thought was buying the 8” as it would give me a larger width for planing but my concern is because it is a dual purpose, that is does both jobs well but neither job great. Would it be better to buy the 6” and then a completely separate planer. My budget is not unlimited but I also do not want to buy the same tool twice if you know what I mean? Does anyone have any suggestions?
I thank you all in advance and I also thank all those who commented on my posted projects!

7 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3848 posts in 1917 days

#1 posted 04-23-2012 12:48 PM

Only a guess, but I think you must looking at jointers that are mislabeled “jointers/planers”. At one time Sears (and maybe others) actually marketed one that could double as both but it died a slow painful death. A jointer flattens a board, and most of the 8” ones will not only do the extra 2” of width, but as a general rule they have longer beds which allows them to do a longer piece (common advice is that a jointer will straighten/flatten a board twice as long as it’s tables). The planer will make the opposite face parallel to the first, something a jointer cannot do. Now, there area combo machines available, but they are mostly of a larger size, size 12” +, and represent a very choice if you are limited on shop space. With these, to go from one function to another you typically move some parts around to get the opposite configuration. My advice would be to look for separate tools if you have the space. If I misinterpreted your question I apologize…..

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jmos's profile


716 posts in 1793 days

#2 posted 04-23-2012 12:57 PM

Fine Woodworking did a review of combo jointer/planers recently in the 2 grand price range, and had pretty good things to say about them. I believe they were all about 12”. If you can afford the separate machines, and have the space, I’d go that route to avoid changing them over all the time. I would be very wary of a 6” or 8” combo machine, especially at a low price point; hard to believe they can do both function well.

-- John

View Hammeredthumb's profile


16 posts in 1649 days

#3 posted 04-23-2012 01:05 PM

Fred, thank you for shedding some light on this. I am a relative novice at a lot of this so excuse me sometimes if I ask rather silly questions! LOL
A planer will plane one side of the board completely parallel to the opposite side. If the board is cupped, it will take out the cup on the side facing into the blades but really has no way of dealing with a warp as it is just following what the other side of the board is doing.
A jointer though, because of the extended table could take out a warp on one side as it does not follow the opposite side. Jointers are also good for edging the boards also. Something I do not see a planer really being very good at. This i really in theory as my examples are probably not very good but is this the basic concept?
My wife recently has decided to let me expand a little past your basic TS, MS and router set up. I have built some things and people have commented that I have some ability. I would like to start a more proper shop and I think the jointer and a planer are good steps. Any you would recommend?

View AandCstyle's profile


2541 posts in 1681 days

#4 posted 04-23-2012 01:10 PM

I have never used one of these combo type products so take this for what it is worth. When I was looking to upgrade my jointer and planer, I considered a combo unit. I ultimately decided to purchase separate machines because I didn’t think I would want to always have to be converting from one mode to the other and back again that the combo would require. I know that a little planning would reduce the frequency of conversions, but that isn’t how I work. An other issue that I recall is that you will most likely get a shorter bed with a combo unit. This may or may not be significant for you. It depends whether or not you intend to work with longer or shorter stock. Finally, if space is an issue for you then you might be better off opting for a combo.

That said, here is a 10”unit that is about the cost of a good jointer. I have no experience with it, but I have been happy with the Grizzly machines I do have. HTH.

-- Art

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8109 posts in 2852 days

#5 posted 04-23-2012 01:24 PM

JMO, but I like a separate jointer and planer. For me a 6” jointer is large enough. I don’t use a jointer for flattening stock. There are several methods to do that job with a planer sled or a router box. Actually, since I only use it for truing edges, if it weren’t for the bed length, a 4” jointer would do the job for me.
Buy a good 6” jointer and a good 15” planer.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Hammeredthumb's profile


16 posts in 1649 days

#6 posted 04-23-2012 03:32 PM

Art, Gene, John and Fred, Thank you all for taking them time to answer. I do appreciate the advice and the suggestions. I think I will start looking at the 6” jointers and atleast 12” planer. Shop space is an issue but not as much of an issue as doing the job right. The extra space I might save by combining the two may just be taken up with the kindling wood pile. Thanks again!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3848 posts in 1917 days

#7 posted 04-23-2012 04:45 PM

There is nothing wrong with starting with a 6” jointer and a 12” planer….I suspect that was what most us us had in the beginning; I know that’s what I had.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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